2018 marks an important year for Celemi as we celebrate 20 years of presence in China, which started with First Priority, our very first partner in the country.

On September 19th, 2018, Celemi organized two events with the Swedish Chamber of Commerce and the Consulate General of Sweden in Shanghai to commemorate the special occasion with colleagues and friends, and to share our Serious Fun philosophy with a wider audience.

In the morning, we welcomed Celemi’s co-founder Klas Mellander as he started the day off with an inspiring “Power of Learning” interactive Sharp Talk, focused on how to make an idea come to life through learning and experience. Using interesting personal examples, he made clear that a captivating vision is sometimes not enough to engage the people involved in a project; the key is letting people find out themselves why the idea is important, instead of hoping to inspire them through a mere presentation.  The biggest takeaway?

You can’t absorb other people’s knowledge, you have to create your own.”

Klas Mellander engaging the audience at the Four Seasons Hotel

After having stretched their brains, the almost 50 participants had a chance to experiment firsthand what it means to learn by doing. The expert Celemi team lead the audience through a teaser of the popular business simulation Decision Base where teams had to manage competing companies and make the smartest business decisions to attract the same customers in a rapidly changing marketplace.

After a full day of learning and tough competition, everyone successfully navigated the tricky market waters and brought home a very important lesson:

Revenue is vanity. Profit is sanity. Cash is reality.

The festivities continued in the late afternoon at the residence of the Swedish Consulate General, where a selected audience was invited to attend an exciting evening of stimulating discussion and, of course, Serious Fun.

Celemi’s CEO Kjell Lindqvist shared his view of today’s VUCA environment. He pointed out that, as we all have experienced, the working world has become more flexible, digitalization has increased the speed of change in organizations, and people are now working in an increasingly networked structure. Rather than being an obstacle, this creates endless opportunities to improve operations and best practices to empower teams to act as decision makers.  So, to keep up with constant innovation, we should shift our mindset and foster a different type of VUCA setting: Vision, Understanding, Clarity, Agility.

Afterwards, Klas Mellander shared a few insights on how the Power of Learning can be crucial in dealing with an ever-changing environment. An important point is that, while our brain is innately drawn to learn new things, the best strategy to ensure effective learning is encouraging step-by-step direct experience and keeping it simple, to help information retention even in complex external conditions.

As highlight of the evening, Celemi’s Global Vice President of Sales and China veteran Tore Byström moderated a very entertaining panel discussion between Mats Harborn (President of the European Chamber of Commerce in China and Executive Director of Scania China Strategic Office), Richard Bisset (Co-founder of Shi Bisset and Associates), and Klas Mellander. In their addresses, the panelists all explored the evolution of businesses in the China market in the last few decades and the offered their perspectives on how to build on past successes to obtain sustainable growth through creating a new generation of leadership for the globalized world.

The soirée continued with drinks, canapes and lively conversation, offering great opportunities to catch up and make new connections, toasting to partnerships and planning for an even better next 20 years!